Category Archives: hints + tips

How To Start a Thread for a Line of Stem Stitch

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Sometimes it’s challenging to figure out exactly how to start a thread. The two most common methods I’ve seen are to use an away waste knot (to allow the stitching to be tied off later) and simply using a waste knot in the path of the stitching. When you’re stitching a line of stem or…

Breaking Up Repetitive Stitching

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“Unity” is one of the basic principles of design. One way to achieve unity in a needlework design, particularly in a geometric design, is through the use of repetition. Unfortunately for stitchers, repetition sometimes gets a bit, well, repetitive. Tedious. Boring. In my last post about Ruskin Garden Square, I mentioned that I have several…

How Do You Manage Your Pattern While Stitching?

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Many professional designers, especially those designing counted canvas work, offer a project’s instructions as just a set of loose pages. As far as I can tell, this is for a number of reasons: Good counted canvas instructions, particularly for complex designs, take a lot of pages. (Ruskin Garden Square, for example, has 70 pages of…

Stitch Study: Four-Sided Stitch

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Simplicity and elegance are two words that come to mind when I think of four-sided stitch. Simple, because the stitch really only has three steps. Elegant, because of the clean lines and lacy look of this beautiful stitch. Since four-sided stitch is often worked as a pulled-thread stitch, I like to use a needle that’s…

The Pros and Cons of Basting a Design

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If you do a lot of counted canvaswork, sometimes it seems as if every other pattern you pick up calls for some sort of basting lines to be put in before you start stitching the actual design. My confession: For the vast majority of these, I completely ignore the instructions to baste. Why? Well, for…

Ink: An Unusual Embellishment

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The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that my Magi #2 pictures from yesterday were from September. So if it looks like I’m much further along today, it’s not that I have smoking needles. I’ve just been such a slacker in the blogging department that I have plenty to catch all of you up on!…